Vikram Sampath, biographer of VD Savarkar, accused of plagiarism by historians
Indian author and historian Vikram Sampath has been accused of plagiarism by three scholars in the United States. According to them, his essay on VD Savarkar had instances paraphrased verbatim. The scholars stated that Sampath’s work was “about 50%” plagiarized from other articles they had written.
Ananya Chakravarti, along with Rohit Chopra and Audrey Truschke, wrote the letter to the President of the Royal Historical Society (RHS) in the United Kingdom. In response, Sampath denied the allegations, saying they were “defamatory” in nature.
Thesis “Mostly borrowed”
According to The Wire, scholars became suspicious when they first came across Sampath’s essay on the Hindu nationalist, entitled The Revolutionary Vinayak Damodar Savarkar. The letter states: “Although Dr. Sampath, in quoting this paper, does so in passing, without acknowledging that the central thesis is largely Dr. Borrowed from Chaturvedi’s earlier (and seminal) essay.”
The plagiarism detection software proved that his essay was “approximately 50%” plagiarized. The historians claim that the phrases come from two articles about Savarkar, A Revolutionary’s Biography: The case of VD Savarkar, written by Professor Vinayak Chaturvedi, published in 2013. The second is Savarkar (1883-1966), Sedition And Surveillance: The Rule of Law in a Colonial Situation” by another Indian-origin professor named Janaki Bakhle.
Plagiarized by experienced historians
Growing suspicions led the team to investigate other works by Sampath, including VD Savarkar’s two-volume biography entitled Savarkar: Echoes From A Forgotten Past and Savarkar: A Contested Legacy. “Aside from established historians like Dr. Chaturvedi and late eminent historians such as RC Majumdar, Dr. Sampath does not even spare the work of a deceased student from his heists,” the controversial letter reads.
In addition, Dr. Chaturvedi expressed his dissatisfaction with this. “It is very disappointing to learn about the situation. Because everyone who works on Savarkar knows that he had very high ethical standards in the production of knowledge, even from his backers,” he told the news publication.
As the allegations grew, Dr. Vikram Sampath was steadfast and denied them, citing a case from a 2017 conference where he presented his work. “I had not only cited my work at this conference, but also the work of several other authors, with attribution. The people who wrote this letter were not present at the event; therefore, if the matter is brought to trial as it will be, her testimony will likely be discounted.
Also Read: The Facts You Should Know About “Veer” Savarkar